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This is a collection of my blog entries and experiences with flying, and learning to fly. Something I had been wanting to do for quite a while.
You can find all the pictures I've taken here, and read below for my experience.
Specifically, I have a page for my Trips to Oshkosh, the mecca for pilots

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2017/08/20 Total Solar Eclipse at Madras, Oregon
π 2017-08-20 00:00 in Flying, Trips
After a longish flight from Palo Alto in a slow C172, we arrived at Madras Airport, smack in the middle of the path of totality for the eclipse, the first total eclipse in the US since the 1970's. Needless to say that everything on the path of the eclipse, was packed, and so was the airport, as well as camping sites nearby.

Solartown, north of the airport
Solartown, north of the airport

the rest of the year, Madras has a small racetrack and drag racing strip
the rest of the year, Madras has a small racetrack and drag racing strip

when we landed on sunday morning, a few planes were there already, but many more arrived
when we landed on sunday morning, a few planes were there already, but many more arrived

I was able to negotiate a parking spot closer to the exit for the next morning, and we setup our camp
I was able to negotiate a parking spot closer to the exit for the next morning, and we setup our camp

some amount of vendors at the airport
some amount of vendors at the airport


We then took our foldable bikes and biked to Solarfest, a few miles south:

Madras was ready for visitors
Madras was ready for visitors

and their money :)
and their money :)

we met Arturo at Solarfest
we met Arturo at Solarfest



Nasa had a display room, but hard to get into due to crowds
Nasa had a display room, but hard to get into due to crowds




Nasa gave talks
Nasa gave talks


lots of vendors
lots of vendors

I then went to Solartown to meet Arturo and Louis at their RV:




It was then time to get back to the airport for sunset pictures:










We then tried to sleep in our tent, and I very much appreciated the jet that landed at 05:02 and stayed idling close to our tent for a good 5mn :)

people getting ready early
people getting ready early

I packed up our camp and turned the plane around in the direction of 'get the f out of here' :)
I packed up our camp and turned the plane around in the direction of 'get the f out of here' :)

I was one plane away from the last taxiway to the runway
I was one plane away from the last taxiway to the runway

Tim, one of my many coworkers who went to the event
Tim, one of my many coworkers who went to the event

In case the sun disappearance brought a big flood, some were ready :)
In case the sun disappearance brought a big flood, some were ready :)

And then, it started:



this lucky guy landed 1mn before the runway closed
this lucky guy landed 1mn before the runway closed

getting closer
getting closer

that little sun left, is still very bright
that little sun left, is still very bright

without a filter, it was still super bright
without a filter, it was still super bright


almost there, but still way too bright to look with naked eyes
almost there, but still way too bright to look with naked eyes

and finally!
and finally!

the corona of hot plasma around the sun, only visible during an eclipse
the corona of hot plasma around the sun, only visible during an eclipse

mercury became visible
mercury became visible

So, it's hard to explain, but it does get quite dark, and cold. The cold was really noticeable, which is surprising how quickly it changed in just a portion of a minute:



and then, after barely 2mn, it was over
and then, after barely 2mn, it was over

Just to give a feel for what it looked like, here are 4mn starting just before totality:

Those 2mn were as cool as they went by quickly. As soon as totality was over, we rushed to the plane, and went in line for the runway, got the first spot and I was the first person to take off when the runway re-opened. While waiting over 30mn, I took a few more pictures from inside the plane before finally being able to take off:



in the 40mn I waited before taking off, the roads were filled up already
in the 40mn I waited before taking off, the roads were filled up already





jets were the only ones allowed to take off for about 1h after I left
jets were the only ones allowed to take off for about 1h after I left

solarfest
solarfest

a long road home
a long road home

And one last shot of the partial eclipse still going on while we were flying to Klammath Falls:


We had a great time, definitely an at least once in a lifetime experience.


More pages: August 2017 April 2017 January 2017 December 2016 August 2016 July 2016 May 2016 February 2016 January 2016 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 February 2015 January 2015 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 June 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 September 2013 July 2013 June 2013 April 2013 October 2012 September 2012 August 2012 July 2012 June 2012 May 2012 April 2012 January 2012 November 2011 August 2011 July 2011 April 2011 March 2011 November 2010 September 2010 August 2010 July 2010 May 2010 March 2010 September 2009 August 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 March 2009 November 2008 August 2008 July 2008 May 2008 April 2008 December 2007 October 2007 September 2007 July 2007 June 2007 May 2007 March 2007 February 2007 January 2007 November 2006 October 2006 September 2006 August 2006 July 2006 June 2006 May 2006 April 2006 March 2006 February 2006 January 2006 December 2005 November 2005 October 2005 September 2005 August 2005 July 2005 June 2005 May 2005 April 2005 March 2005 December 2004 September 2004 August 2004 May 2004 March 1999

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